The Stonyhurst Literature and Film Festival is set to be one of the biggest festivals of its kind here in the North West, especially with incredible speakers such as Ann Widdecombe and Simon Callow joining us as headliners.

Stonyhurst College, which celebrates its 425 year anniversary this year, is a Grade I listed building set in the unparalleled landscape of the Ribble Valley, but what exactly makes Stonyhurst the perfect setting for a Literature and Film Festival?

Stonyhurst is home to The Old Chapel Museum; the oldest museum in the English-speaking world, and will be open to visitors throughout the Literature & Film Festival.

Artefacts on display include medieval manuscripts, first editions of famous books such as Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, as well as prayer books belonging to Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth of York.

Within our collections is William Shakespeare’s First Folio, which is a compilation of the playwright’s work. It is one of only 223 surviving copies in the world. Many academics and literary critics regard the First Folio as one of the most important documents in literature, being the only record of 18 of Shakespeare’s 36 plays.

Not only does the museum exhibit items that once belonged to some of the country’s, if not the world’s most renowned literary figures, but our heritage in the world of literature is exemplified by some of our notable alumni.

Former Stonyhurst students include Alfred Austen who succeeded Sir Alfred Lord Tennyson as Poet Laureate in 1896, and most markedly, Sherlock Holme’s author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Doyle attended Stonyhurst in 1868 and is thought to have used his time at school as an influence for the characters and locations in his books. One of the most notable similarities is in The Hound of the Baskervilles where the description of Baskerville Hall perfectly mirrors Stonyhurst College.

The Ribble Valley has a rich history, as well as an abundance of award-winning businesses and eateries, making it a natural choice to hold the North West’s biggest Literature and Film Festival.